Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed a law allowing fewer school days in Rhode Island's public schools. The law requires any reduction in school days to be offset with an increase in class time. Still, supporters say, the move will provide more flexibility for school officials looking to reign in cost.
"We have to do anything we can to help schools stay on budget while still giving students the education they deserve,” said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Roger Picard, a Democrat representing Woonsocket and Cumberland in a written statement.
Charter Schools in Central Falls, Pawtucket and Cumberland will have $10 million to make building improvements, thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation is providing the money in the form of low or no-interest loans, to increase the number of charter schools seats available for Central Falls students.
The number of Rhode Island Families hoping to get their children into Charter Schools continues to increase, according to the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools. The group is reporting a 20 percent jump in applications for 2013 for a total of 7,900 applications, up from 6,500 applications in 2012.
State education officials plan to announce results from the latest round of state-wide standardized testing, unless a blizzard gets in the way. The Department of Education says Governor Lincoln Chafee and Education Commissioner Deborah Gist will release the numbers at the statehouse on Friday morning.
If the weather cooperates, we will soon know just how many high school juniors are at risk for not graduating, under a new state rule that requires a score of two or better on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exam.
State education Commissioner Deborah Gist is slated to discuss Rhode Island’s controversial teacher evaluations during a panel discussion this morning at the Fordham Institute in Washington, DC, a conservative public policy think-tank.
Schools close as budgets stretch and buildings age
East Providence is closing Oldham Elementary School citing the high cost of upgrading the building. The district has faced serious deficits in the past, contributing to municipal financial woes. The Providence Journal reports that district officials Oldham would have needed an estimated $2 million in renovations to stay open. As a result of the closure, some students will be shifted to other schools.
State education officials are defending standardized testing as a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2014. Students opposing so-called "high stakes testing" staged a protest yesterday at the Statehouse.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist responded by saying her goal is to make sure students finish high school with the right skills for college or a career. If the testing rule took effect this year, 44 percent of seniors would be at risk for not graduating.
A group calling itself the Providence Student Union will ask for an end to high stakes testing this week. Starting with the class of 2014, Rhode Island students will not be allowed to graduate unless they get a score of "partially procficent" on the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).